Sharing a name (even though we’re actually named after the fruit!) isn’t the only reason we love these birds from New Zealand: Kiwi birds are supercute, flightless, have catlike whiskers, and even have nostrils at the ends of their beaks. What’s more, their endangered-species status means they need our help. “Millions of kiwi once lived throughout New Zealand’s forests, but only 70,000 of them remained by 2008,” says Tom Lynch, a kiwi bird conservationist and wildlife photographer in Rotorua, New Zealand. Some simple ways your family can lend a wing, er, hand from afar:
At savethekiwi.org, find out all there is to know about the kiwi bird and what’s endangering them—and see some seriously adorable pics while you’re there. Check out the Kiwi Classroom page where kids can print coloring sheets and share their own kiwi art.
Hold a bake sale (kiwifruit cupcakes, anyone?) to support kiwi bird conservation efforts at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park in New Zealand. Five dollars will purchase enough worms to feed one kiwi chick for an entire week, while $50 lets your family adopt its own kiwi (rainbowsprings.co.nz).
Be a cheerleader
Conservationists at Rainbow Springs are hard at work helping kiwi, and they love hearing from other kiwi fans. Write a note cheering them on, and then send it off to kiwi country (find the mailing address at kiwiencounter.co.nz).
Reprinted from KIWI Magazine